05/27/07 — New industry coming to Duplin

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New industry coming to Duplin

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on May 27, 2007 2:01 AM

WARSAW -- A new industry announced at a press conference Friday that it will relocate its operations to Warsaw, investing about $1.2 million over the next three years.

Menlo Worldwide, a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., which provides logistics, transportation management and supply chain services nationally and globally, is expected to begin operations this week, said Tom Mabry, the company's director of global account management.

The company will initially create 30 jobs, but Mabry said that number will increase to more than 100 jobs during the next year. The company also plans to hire an additional 130 employees seasonally, he added.

Menlo signed the lease to the old Fleming Warehouse, and the company is expected to use about 340,000 square feet of the 383,000-square-foot facility, Mabry said.

But Menlo won't be the only company represented at its new location. Coty Cosmetics, the world's largest cosmetics manufacturer, will use the new building to house and distribute its products. Other companies are expected to use space in the building as well, Mabry said.

"If there is a company that wants to get their products in the stores, we are the third party that helps that happen," he said.

The company was able to locate to Warsaw in part because of a $30,000 One North Carolina Fund grant. The grant, created by Gov. Mike Easley, assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion to help expand economic activity and create new jobs across North Carolina. Since its inception in 2001, the grant program has created more than 25,000 jobs and $3.5 million in industrial investment.

Duplin County Economic Development Commission Chairman Woody Brinson said there were many people and organizations who contributed to getting Menlo to Warsaw. Among them are the state Department of Commerce, Employment Security Commission, Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, Ports Authority, the town of Warsaw and Progress Energy.

James Sprunt Community College will help Menlo provide employee training, Brinson said.

"Never, ever is there a project that one person is involved in," he said.

And now that Menlo is preparing to begin operations, Mabry said he sees the company having a vibrant future in Warsaw and Duplin County.

"We don't see this as a three-year or five-year deal. We see this as a lifetime deal," he said.